Lonely 9-year-old boy in China leaves home, hitches ride under 18-wheeler truck

A lonely 9-year-old boy ran away from his home in eastern Hunan province in China, hiding in the undercarriage of an 18-wheeler truck for eight hours.

The boy was taken into custody by police officers in Miluo city, Hunan, as reported by Xiaoxiang Morning News via South China Morning Post last Wednesday, Aug. 22. He initially refused to give his name as well as the place where he had crawled under the truck's undercarriage. He gave in not long after, telling the authorities his nickname, Xiaoneng, alongside his father's surname and phone number.

Apparently, the stowaway made his way to the pole near the rear axle of the truck during its stop in Chenzhou city at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 18.

The kid rode the truck which travelled 1,000 kilometers for eight hours. He was undiscovered throughout the eight-hour drive even though the truck made a couple of rest stops along the way.

It wasn't until 7 a.m. the day after that Xiaoneng was discovered, when the driver stopped at a factory in Hunan, the report said. The factory employees tried to coax him into coming out of the truck's undercarriage but he was adamant about staying under. He, later on, emerged from his hiding place, covered in grease and soot from head to toe.

It was discovered that Xiaoneng 's parents were divorced. Like most children in China, he had been living with his grandmother while his father was busy earning money in the city.

"Maybe it's because he lacks maternal love," Xiaoneng's father was quoted as saying. "He's lonely."

There was no mention of Xiaoneng's relationship with his mother in the report.

The boy's father said that the incident was not the first time Xiaoneng tried to run away, the report stated. The father said that he "lost his temper" at his son after he killed his grandmother's duck on the same day he ran away, which may have also been another reason for the boy's attempt at escaping their home.

Xiaoneng was brought back home by the authorities on Aug. 20.